Menu

Environment Video: Unusual in Amazon, tornado hits Rondônia, causes damage and scares residents

The trail of destruction frightened residents of Rondônia. (Divulgation/Social networks)

Iury Lima – from Cenarium

VILHENA (RO) – A strong windstorm, heavy rain, lightning and hail scared the more than 500 thousand residents of the capital of Rondônia, Porto Velho, last Thursday, 28th. The storm was classified as a tornado by the Center for Management and Operational Protection of the Amazon (Censipam).

On the Fujita Scale, which classifies the intensity of tornadoes, the phenomenon obtained the mildest level, ranging from “F0” to “F5”. According to Censipam, the winds averaged 50 km/h, but were enough to bring houses and commercial buildings’ roofs down, fell trees and cause flooding. The moments of terror lasted a few minutes. Part of the city was even without electricity, because, according to the utility company Energisa, high voltage wires were broken.

The force of the winds destroyed houses and ripped out trees. (Reproduction /Social Networks)

In a statement, the Municipal Civil Defense said that despite the damage, there were no victims and that the material damage was identified between two avenues in the central region and in neighborhoods in the East Zone of Porto Velho. “The Civil Defense is monitoring the affected areas, including with the services of psychologists and social workers, and a survey is being made of the damage caused during the storm to verify how the municipality can help these families”, another excerpt highlighted.

Is there a link with the climate emergency?

Despite being unusual for the state of Rondônia, as well as for the Amazon region, the occurrence of tornadoes, according to Censipam meteorologist, Marcelo Gama, has nothing to do with the effects of climate change discussed at the 26th United Nations Conference, in Glasgow. He explains that the phenomenon was only caused by favorable conditions.

“A tornado is nothing more than a big whirlwind. It is not common here in our region, although it does exist, but not with any frequency. It is more common in the South, Southeast and central regions of the country. It occurs, usually due to the meeting of two masses: a mass of hot air and a mass of cold air, and it always develops in clouds of vertical extension, which are the cumulonimbus clouds, which are very common here in our region”, detailed the specialist, referring to a type of cloud that is formed in a vertical position, and can reach a height of 10 thousand meters from its base.

Censipam’s meteorologist, Marcelo Gama, in interview to Cenarium. (Iury Lima/Cenarium)

“The moment we have favorable weather conditions for this event to occur, it can come back. Now, depending on the area where it hits, it can cause more or less damage”, Gama added.

Another episode

This is not the first time that a phenomenon like this scares the people of Rondônia. In September 2007, another tornado with winds of 150 km/h hit the town of Ji-Paraná, 372 kilometers from the capital. The phenomenon caused destruction over a two kilometer stretch.

Tornado in Ji-Paraná (RO), in 2007. (Reproduction/Internet)

“Unfortunately, we don’t have a study, a characteristic, that you show or that you can prevent and prognosticate the arrival of a tornado. The important thing is that people try to protect themselves, indoors, or in a space where they feel safe. The recommendation is to avoid going out at this time, avoid being near power lines, because depending on the intensity of the tornado, there may be falls of poles or high-voltage wires”, warned Marcelo Gama.

See the damage caused to the city

(Reproduction/Social Networks)